T Nation

Best and Worst Villains in Fiction


Agreed, but I think that might’ve been part of the point. Flagg was so versatile, he could be whatever he wanted/needed based on the situation. Added to that, imo, he was kind of a “catch-all” villain in that he was King’s quintessential bad guy - he fit wherever he needed to.

Plus, like @polo77j said, Flagg was King’s personal demons put on paper - so he became whatever King was struggling with.


Speaking of King, the Warden from “Shawshank” was a fun bad guy. He had a few great lines.


Roland is an outstanding character, and I love him, but I don’t know that I’d call him a hero (from my point of view, anyways).

Right from the start when he sacrifices his hawk, David to defeat Cort and win his guns, you know what type of person he is; unapologetic, and willing to use whatever/whomever to meet his goals. Very straight-arrow. I can appreciate the honesty of the character, but my own personality prevents me from actually cheering for the guy, the “I’ll steamroll over whatever to get to the Tower” mentality turns me off.

Though, his adventures with the Lobstrosities was highly entertaining.


Walter is of course great in Breaking Bad, but Gus Fring was my favorite villain there. The guy was just so chilling and calculated, almost a bummer when he was blown up.

I always like the complicated ones you can almost see their side of things on, or understand why they took the path they did. Ramsey Bolton is the opposite for me, one dimensional, shock value trash, but I guess that’s easier to write.


Curious who your number one is.

I thought Killmonger from Black Panther was a good villain.


Regarding warden norton: The exchange between him and Andy when they first meet talking about bible verses is so fuckin’ cleverly written and well acted. They are just goading each other with double entendres and Norton ending it by handing Andy back the bible and saying “Salvation lies within” is such amazingly subtle foreshadowing…


I prefer the flawed hero with the ends justify the means mentality for the same reason I love Magneto as s villain.

James Holden from the Expanse novels is the antithesis of that mindset and while I love the series, I hate his character.

Not so much the anti-hero but the flawed hero makes a great hero for me


T’chala was the villain in black panther.


Solid damn list! The Hotel in the book was even worse.

Could also add Catherine Heigl in “Home Sweet Hell”. I truly believed she was a sociopath, much in the same vane as gone girl.


Fair enough, I can get behind that reasoning. I appreciate the “realness” of a flawed hero, I guess I’m just more likely to sympathize with the type of character that’ll sacrifice themselves before others. Think: Ted Brautigan, he’s more up my alley.

I haven’t heard of the Expanse novels - who’s the author?


I don’t disagree with that. I think that’s what made it such an excellent movie for me, each character is flawed in such a way that you can simultaneously root for and against them.


Even worse than him was that leader of the order, the guy that is always screaming, having tantrums and making pseudo Hitler speeches. He was just so un-threatening as to be comical, in a way he definitely should not have been comical. He was also incredibly unbelievable as a character, there is simply no way that someone with his personality would make it to the top of any military command chain.


Anyone like Negan in the walking dead? I can’t tell if he truly believes the saviour BS he spouts, or if he just went a bit nuts in the post apocalypse (who wouldn’t) and uses it as an excuse for his conscience.


The sexual tension between him and Kylo is palpable though.


I think this needs an explanation.

T’chala was a sovereign and supreme dictator who maintained power through inciting tribalism and serfdom to divide the populous and not alow others to challenge his power.

He ran closed borders in an absolute fashion while hoarding resources and medical technology that can better others including the war torn, impoverished surrounding nations despite an over abundance of hoarded wealth and weaponary.

He ruled by fear with no democratic pathways for others to challenge or question the government or law unless they were willing to enter life or death combat eliminating women or intelectuais from ever challenging his militant rule.

After losing his position by his own barbaric combat ritual with agreed upon rules, he starts a rebellion, usurps the man who does what he can to end the line of tryany rule by supernatural power, open boarders and trade, by starting war that kills many before murdering his new rightful king outside the defined rules by which he lost his throne.

What a hero…


And where the fuck did he come from? Darth Sidius / Palpatine had a huge backstory. Even before the release of 1/2/3 there was the idea that this was an embedded figure with history. This dude just appears out of nowhere to suddenly take over as a sith lord? from where? and we are then suddenly supposed to buy into the idea that he is some epically powerful sith? Clearly the dudes ancient so where was he during episodes 1-6?


Speaking of worst villans…


The shit-munch from Green Mile. Can’t remember character’s name but the prison warden that stomped the mouse and dry-fried the prisoner. Jeez, I wanted to give him a slap!


Lol, ya, and the he gets punked by that angry lil bitch Kylo who can’t even beat a little girl with zero training in the force.

So, he survives when Vadar and Sidius are running the show an isn’t defeated by Luke, but Kylo tricks him. Gtfo.

What kind of a dumbass leaves a deadly weapon pointed directly at them. Ridiculous.


Especially after establishing he can read everyone’s thoughts (one of many new force-powers). Kylo must have controlled it without thinking about it, yeah that’s it.

I was disappointed he wasn’t 30’ tall like he was depicted in The Force Awakens hologram chat thing. It’d have been stupider, but could be more entertaining.